UPDATED: Islamic State execute 7 children to punish fleeing families west of Mosul

Displaced children who fled the clashes queue to receive aid from Iraqi security forces in Antesaar neighborhood of Mosul, Iraq, January 24, 2017. REUTERS/Alaa Al-Marjani

Tal Afar ( Islamic State militants executed seven children on Monday as a punishment for their fleeing families west of Mosul, a senior paramilitary leader said.

Jabbar al-Maamouri, a senior leader at the Popular Mobilization Forces, told Alsumaria News that IS militants executed seven children and hung their dead bodies to lampposts in the town of Tal Afar after their families had attempted to flee the extremist group’s stronghold west of Mosul.

He said the group imposed a curfew in the town fearing a backlash from enraged civilians.

Islamic State has been holding Tal Afar since 2014, with the town becoming one of the major bastions for the group in Iraq. Operations by the PMF have so far recaptured areas surrounding the town and isolated it from the Syrian borders and from Mosul.

IS members have regularly executed and levied harsh punishments on civilians for fleeing their domains or collaborating with security forces since they took over a third of the country to establish a self-styled “Caliphate”.

Iraq’s government and military leadership declared victory in Mosul on Sunday, ending the group’s three-year occupation of Iraq’s second largest city. The war in Mosul has dispalced more than 900.000 civilians, according to the government and United Nations counts.


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